July 6, 2015 | Clare Farthing
The marketing guru Seth Godin observed:
In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure.
In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.
Imagine the scenario; you’ve spent months meticulously planning your exhibition campaign, you’ve geared up your sales people into a frenzy and you’ve spent your budget. The countdown has begun and now comes the moment of truth. The months of blood, sweat and tears are finally over. The tannoy trills out across the show floor and the doors are flung open to the world. The visitors start piling in….and then you have that horrible realisation that your stand is just simply one of many on a show floor and blends unremarkably into the general surrounding hubbub. You haven’t hit the mark at all. Instead, you’ve become invisible!
Your goal at any live event should be to be invincible. You’re there with hundreds of other similar businesses, so your exhibition stand needs to stop people in their tracks! It should reflect how you want your business to be perceived by potential clients. If your offices are an architectural triumph, your website a wonder, and your ad campaigns award-winning but your exhibition stand looks tired and tatty, then you’ll undo all your hard work in an instance. Every customer who comes into contact with your organisation at the show will form an impression of your company and you want your exhibition stand to stand out so you can deliver results back to your business.
Research shows that the average exhibition visitor will take just 3-4 seconds to walk past a stand. What can you do to stop them in their tracks? A high-quality stand brings together creative architecture (archways, counters, doors, lighting, plinths, walling), graphics with colour, impact and pizzazz, and additional tools designed to engage an audience and make a statement.
Say, for instance, you’re a health club and your goal at an event is to attract new members. You could engage your audience by having an exercise bike on your stand, create excitement by asking people to peddle as fast as they can against a digital countdown and have an interactive score board as a live graphic wall, with scores updated in real time. The prize for the top score could be a year’s gym membership. You could also run a social media campaign around this theme, thereby further increasing your reach.
Events are live, vibrant and interactive. They’re the home of business theatre, so you need to create a sensory experience that is truly unforgettable but is also aligned with your exhibiting goals.
Develop a theme for your exhibition campaign and weave the message through your stand design. Create even more of a noise by getting the party started early. Sign-post visitors to your stand before they even reach the show floor. Organisers, venues and destination marketing offices are normally only too happy to help you spend your money on items such as signage, posters or staff to hand out leaflets outside the show floor.
Invest in your stand’s creative design, align with a strong theme and you’ll be the belle of the ball, not an invisible wallflower. For information about how to engage with your visitors at an exhibition please read our latest case study. Click here.